Feeding time for swamp pollies
POLITICIANS have a lot in common with the crocodylus snaggletoothum, more commonly known as the gummy saltwater crocodile of Far North Queensland.
They cut an imposing figure – all leathery stink and authoritative glare – but would sooner mash up lowhanging fruit than rip off a head.
Salties, even the aforementioned dentally-challenged old jalopies, have no sweat glands and emit not a single bead of perspiration even under immense pressure.
They release heat through their big mouths.
You may have seen Mo, the fourmetre (and decidedly toothsome) dinosaur that hangs out beside the Mowbray River bridge en route to the Daintree.
He sits there for hours, mouth agape, just catching flies without a care in the world – a perfectly slack beast with a belly full of fish and the idle confidence of an apex predator in its natural habitat. Mo goes to the river for a reason. Even saltwater and brackish-dwelling reptiles have to seek out fresh streams when they get thirsty.
Well, it is almost election time and our snaggle-toothed legislators have a thirst that only another three years at the top of the food chain can quench.
Cairns residents should be positively fizzing at the bung for this federal election to roll up.
For months, years, decades upon decades, territorial old blokes have been lurking in the backwaters of Canberra for a chance to snap up dominant status.
Nothing new, but this time was too public and too petty to go unnoticed.
Turnbull was wily but lacked the nuggets to stay on top so was skinned, tanned and sewn into a coin purse.
Dutton was a big lug with yams the size of bean bags but lacked the cunning to do more than get himself kicked out of the pond.
Once those two had torn each other apart, that left just Morrison, Steven Bradbury of the mangroves, ready and rearing to spread his fiscal seed. Julie Bishop should have been a contender, of course, but this was a testosterone-fuelled battle for alpha male feeding rights. She never stood a chance. Amid all this ridiculousness, we poor parched wallabies watched warily from the water’s edge, hoping to get a sip without losing our heads.
Bill Shorten, the big scaly scallywag, has been floating about in a nearby lagoon ready to stake a claim.
He will win unless the Coalition digs deep and buys the love of a public that is sick of all the nonsense. Here’s what will happen. MYEFO will roll around in December, and the government will miraculously discover an absolute shedload of funds available.
Money has been hidden away in portfolios like so many semi-submerged carcasses and ScoMo’s mob now has a massive election war chest.
The budget is in good repair, we will be told.
So it is time to sensibly splurge on neglected infrastructure.
A mini-budget will likely be released in March, an election called in April, voters going to the booths in May and a formal budget pushed back to June.
They need as much space as poss- ible between last month’s lunacy and the poll.
At this point, Bill Shorten would have to headbutt a McDonald’s worker for an early election to be called.
This all means the Far North has an enormous opportunity to agitate for infrastructure projects that have been ignored for too long.
Extending the National Highway to finally fix the northern beaches traffic jams, getting a business case for a new Kuranda Range crossing, stateof-the-art marine precinct transformation – they are all up for grabs.
If Palaszczuk will not help, the Federal Government needs to go it alone – and the Opposition will have to follow suit or give up entirely.
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch will keep blaming the State Government for stalling, but voters will not accept that.
The term crocodile tears comes from the ancient belief that crocs cried while consuming their prey.
It has come to mean a fake display of grief or emotional hypocrisy.
Crocodiles really do produce tears but not through sadness or guilt.
They are lubricating their eyes because they have been out of the water for too long, feasting on rotting cadavers in the mud.
THE TERM CROCODILES TEARS COMES FROM THE ANCIENT BELIEF THAT CROCS CRIED WHILE CONSUMING THEIR PREY. IT HAS COME TO MEAN A FAKE DISPLAY OF GRIEF ...
SNACK SNAP: Action at the crocodile farm at Pormpuraaw.